- The Art, Craft, and Science of Policing
- Crime and Criminals
- Criminal Process and Prosecution
- The Crime-preventive Impact of Penal Sanctions
- Contracts and Corporations
- Financial Markets
- Consumer Protection
- Bankruptcy and Insolvency
- Regulating the Professions
- Personal Injury Litigation
- Claiming Behavior as Legal Mobilization
- Labor and Employment Laws
- Housing and Property
- Human Rights Instruments
- Social Security and Social Welfare
- Occupational Safety and Health
- Environmental Regulation
- Administrative Justice
- Access to Civil Justice
- Judicial Recruitment, Training and Careers
- Trial Courts and Adjudication
- Appellate Courts
- Dispute Resolution
- Lay Decision-Makers in the Legal Process
- Evidence Law
- Civil Procedure and Courts
- Collective Actions
- Law and Courts'Impact on Development and Democratization
- How Does Inter National Law Work?
- <b>Lawyers and Other Legal Service Providers</b>
- Legal Pluralism
- Public Images and Understandings of Courts
- Legal Education and the Legal Academy
Abstract and Keywords
The definition and measurement of the impact of laws and courts is a subject of disagreement and uncertainties. In this article, law is understood as a public, general, and binding command enforceable through state coercion. Assessments on the effects of laws on democracy and development focus on changes in specific social indicators. The evaluation of impact relates to the availability and reliability of judicial statistics and the impact of laws depends on political and social conditions. The interaction of laws can be studied in three contextual variables: the structure and competitiveness of political systems, the structure and performance of the judiciary, and the organizational endowments of the social or political actors, such as social and labor movements that use the law. This interaction shows how and why certain conditions affect impact. It also speculates, about some additional developments that might follow from the relationships between law and these three variables.
Catalina Smulovitz is Professor of Political Science, Universidad Torcuato Di Tella, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
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